It was fast paced. It was chilling. It was vividly real. It was atmospheric. It was scary.

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Posted on November 30, by skullsinthestars For many years, I marveled at what appeared to be a genuine dearth of quality haunted house novels. Burnt Offerings has made me rethink and add to the classification. A house which is simply hostile to anyone who tries to live inside of it, and inevitably chases out those who are within.

The Amityville Horror and The Elementals are stories like this. In the end, the secret is revealed — which may or may not end the evil. Devil in the Darkness and Hell House are stories of this form. The Haunting of Hill House and The Shining are exemplary examples of this form, but somehow it never really clicked with me until I read Burnt Offerings. The novel features the Rolfe family, Ben and Marian and their son David. Living in a stifling apartment in Queens, they decide to get away for the summer to a home in the country.

Browsing through the newspaper, Marian finds an offer that seems too good to possibly be true: an entire mansion for rent in upstate New York for the entire season, for a ridiculously good price. The only catch given by the Allardyce family renting the home: the renters must leave food for the elderly senior Mrs. Allardyce, who stays secluded in her room in a remote wing, behind an intricately carved door. Though Ben is suspicious, Marian convinces him that the deal is too good to pass up, and they move in.

And at first, it seems like it will be the perfect summer. Marian takes care of leaving food for Mrs. Allardyce and picking up the dishes, while Ben works on prepping his school syllabus for the next semester and David enjoys the pool and the extensive mansion grounds.

But as the season progresses, uncertainty sets in and unsettling events begin to happen. Marian finds herself increasingly obsessed with the house, and Ben finds himself seeing things that cannot possibly exist. The mansion itself seems to be changing the longer they live there. And, through it all, none of them ever see Mrs. Allardyce in person; she remains hidden in her room, behind the curiously carved door.

What is happening to the house, and to them? And what does the Allardyce family want with them in the end? And will they survive it? Burnt Offerings is a rather unconventional haunted house story. This is a very good horror novel, as can be seen just from the influence it had on the field. Personally, I would say it is not my favorite haunted house novel of all time, but it is undeniably strange and effective and worth reading by anyone interested in the subject, or the history of horror.

It was, sadly, only one of two novels written by Robert Marasco, and evidently his only horror novel. It was also adapted into a movie , which was released in Share this:.


Robert Marasco

Hands down, the best dream-house turned nightmare chiller ever. A classic. January 1, kohey The thing that I like about this novel is that it is not a hungry house itself but a certain family that goes crazy and freak out with nasty nudges from the monster mansion. How could small things lead us into destruction so easily unfortunately with the help of an uncanny thing ,just when we feel stressed out? A superb psycho thriller with a bad aftertaste.


Burnt Offerings

Marian Rolfe, devoted homemaker, lives for her apartment — its subtle yet elegant decoration, acquisition of antique pieces and obsessive sessions of polishing and placing meant to drive her husband and young son to distraction. What better place, then, could she possibly spend the summer than at the Allardyce Mansion with all of its elaborate rooms, carved doors, spiraling staircases, glittering chandeliers, and extensive grounds? Allardyce aka Mother , remains hidden in her chamber, requiring solitude and three meals on trays a day. Ben Rolfe is no match for the crazed enthusiasm of his wife who sees the work of restoration as a passion and the summer as an elaborate treasure hunt with antiques coming to glowing life beneath her adept fingers. The atmosphere is crafted to evoke the ostentatious grandeur of old places and the beauty of bygone things, something antique lovers like myself immediately feel compelled to embrace, yet Marasco embeds an undercurrent of paranoia. Nevertheless, the enthusiasm of one hopelessly addicted family member begins the journey; Marian and Ben, formerly happily married, take their young son and elderly aunt along for what is ostensibly a restful away-from-responsibilities summer.


Burnt Offerings

Burnt Offerings by Robert Marasco Hello everyone. I hope you are having a good week. During the last blog post I took a trip down memory lane, a little blast to the past, and talked about reading the novel Hell House and watching the movie The Legend of Hell House. Another movie we used to watch was Burnt Offerings. Have you ever seen it?



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